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Evolution in fast motion

Evolution is often associated with long-lasting processes, which can not be observed directly. However, modern research methods and experiments demonstrate that particularly microorganisms are suitable for observing ‘evolution in fast motion’ and investigating evolutionary mechanisms within months or even weeks.
Due to high reproduction rates combined with short generation times, hundreds to thousands of generations of bacteria or viruses are available for direct comparison of genomes and phenotypic traits within a very short period of time.
Because of the short generation times the change of the organisms through mutation and selection becomes immediately visible. This is particularly the case when, for example, new pathogens like influenza viruses appear, when bacteria suddenly become resistant against antibiotics or when antiviral drugs become ineffective.
Complete documentation of the lineages allows for investigating and understanding the evolutionary dynamics and the genetic basis of adaptation. 

Biological information

Teaching material

Biological information

Teaching material

Biological information

Teaching material

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Canopé Ludwig Maximilians Universität München Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster